President George W Bush says he shares the widespread international revulsion at the abuse of Iraqi prisoners by US guards at a notorious Baghdad jail.
The US has taken thousands of prisoners since the invasion
As the graphic pictures were beamed across the world, Mr Bush said he was disgusted and vowed that those responsible would be "taken care of".
One of the images shows a hooded and naked prisoner standing on a box with wires attached to his genitals.
A row has also broken out over the UK's treatment of prisoners in Iraq.
Pictures obtained by the Daily Mirror newspaper appear to show a suspected thief being beaten and urinated upon in military custody.
In another development, an Iraqi force has begun moving into the strife-torn city of Falluja as US marines pull back to positions outside the city, to the jubilation of many residents.
US military officials hope the new Iraqi force, led by one of Saddam Hussein's former generals, will be able to gain the trust of residents.
In March, the US army suspended 17 soldiers over alleged prisoner abuses.
Abu Ghraib prison was much feared in Saddam Hussein's era
Six soldiers - including a brigadier general - now face court martial and a possible prison term over the POW pictures taken at the notorious Abu Ghraib detention facility in Baghdad and broadcast by CBS television on Thursday.
The prisoner with wires attached to his genitals was told that if he fell off the box he would be electrocuted, CBS said.
Another image shows naked prisoners being forced to simulate sex acts while in another, a female soldier simulates holding a gun and pointing at a naked Iraqi's genitals.
CBS News said it had delayed the broadcast for two weeks after a request from the Pentagon due to the tensions in Iraq.
"I shared a deep disgust that those prisoners were treated the way they were treated. I didn't like it one bit," President Bush said in Washington.
The people who are alleged to have carried out the abuse "do not reflect the nature of men and women we sent overseas", Mr Bush added.
"That's not the way we do things in America."
A spokesman for UK Prime Minister Tony Blair said he was "appalled" and described the incident as regrettable.
The pictures did not initially cause much of a stir in America - partly because any criticism of US troops while they are dying in Iraq is liable to be extremely unpopular in the US, says the BBC's Justin Webb in Washington.
ABC's Nightline, an influential evening current affairs television programme, is to hold a reading on Friday night of all the names of the American dead.
One of the suspended soldiers, Staff Sergeant Chip Frederick, said the way the army ran the prison had led to the abuse.
"We had no support, no training whatsoever," he told CBS.
Adnan Al-Pachachi, a member of the US-appointed Iraqi Governing Council, said the issue would anger Iraqis but he rejected comparisons with the treatment of prisoners under Saddam Hussein.
"Saddam Hussein's prisoners were not only tortured but executed," the Iraqi official said.